How much do you know about the lifecycle of fungi? You share 55% of your DNA with them, so you’re basically family. And did you know that fungi are not plants, and they’re not animals… but an entirely different queendom!
Whether you’re simply a mushroom-lover or you want to grow your own mushrooms at home, learning about the lifecycle of fungi is a fantastic way to get to know your ecosystem a little better.
Mind you – not all fungi roll the same way, when it comes to their lifecycles – not at ALL. For every biological rule, there is a fungus that breaks it, so it makes sense that there are some pretty big differences in life-cycles depending on the species.
Because we often share about how to grow *wood-loving, mushroom-producing fungi*, that’s the specific lifecycle we’re going to tell you all about today – and what better way to do this than to share a lesson from inside our Home Mushroom Cultivation online course with you!
So – how does a mushroom become a mushroom? Let’s take a look at the whole lifecycle of wood-loving macro fungi. This video introduces the parts, stages and functions of a saprobic macro fungus (yep, like the ones you love to eat).
By understanding the stages in the lifecycle of a fungus, when you start growing your own mushrooms (or are just hanging out with wild ones in your garden), you’ll be able to recognise what the mycelium is doing and key signs of development – for example, when they are ready to fruit…
Video – The Lifecycle of Fabulous Fungi
How amazing is mycelium? So now you understand where the actual mushroom stage of the life cycle fits into the world of fungi.
Well done – this is fundamental stuff.
Understanding the fungi life cycle and how they reproduce is a great way to get closer to your ecosystem, and understand more about the fungi that you find around you.
Learning about the fungi life cycle also enables you to use small, slow solutions to create abundance in your own garden, once you start growing mushrooms.
Some more mushroomy resources
- Our free guide on growing Mushrooms in buckets, gardens and logs
- Making an Off-grid DIY Mushroom Fruiting House
- Foraging + Using Turkeytail Mushrooms – Trametes Versicolour
- Glow in the Dark Mushrooms (Omphalotus nidiformis)
- All our articles about mushrooms
A big thanks to everyone who helped create the video and resources above! Firstly to the Milkwood crew for making the whole Home Mushroom Cultivation course, and also Charlie McGee for the music, Brenna Quinlan for the illustrations, and Lara Van Raay for the videography. Thanks, team!
Extra thanks to Catherine Marciniak (Fungi in South East Asia ) & Almir Rizvanovic for their mushroom footage used in the lesson above.
No worries – leave a comment below and we can answer whatever you’re wondering. Good luck with learning the ways of the fungi!
We acknowledge that permaculture owes the roots of its theory and practice to traditional and Indigenous knowledges, from all over the world. We all stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – as we learn, and re-learn, these skills and concepts. We pay our deepest respects and give our heartfelt thanks to these knowledge-keepers, both past and present.
How much of the mushroom’s life is spent releasing spores? Wondering if it’s minutes, hours, or days? Thank you!
it depends on the mushroom species? Generally no more than a day or two…